Tradition is hard to break. I have complete faith in a couple of traditions coming to fruition for the 2018 NFL Draft. Certainly the Browns will figure out a way to screw up at least one of their two picks in the top 4 of the first round, Roger Goodell will be roundly booed and the Seattle Seahawks will trade down or out of the first round.
It's also been a tradition in my past radio life to do a mock draft. 22 years in a row. Alway one of my favorite shows! Well who am I to mock tradition by avoiding a chance to mock in 2018? You can't stop me now...I'm addicted!
So with a bit less fanfare than in the past, I give you my 2018 "No Trade" Mock Draft. There will certainly be plenty of trades and movement during the actual draft, but that doesn't help here. So for our purposes, your team is staying put where they are at and making a selection wether they like it or not!
As I've always said, there are about 10-15 people outside of the NFL that really know what their taking about when it comes to the Draft. The rest of us are involved in a massive game of telephone. We think we heard something about this guy, and we may have read something about that guy. We throw in some good nebulous phrases like "works well in space" and "he has a motor the doesn't stop" or "good upside/high ceiling". Add some freakish, yet sometimes unexplainable measurements of physical tools and boom you're a draft expert.
I'm no expert. I just enjoy the draft, in fact it's sometimes more enjoyable than the season. Below you will find my best guesses for the first round using info from lots of other "experts". Ultimately It's a half what I expect to see and what I want to see...so I'm sure to be disappointed on both fronts. Now lets get to the mocking...
Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The Browns are looking for a player to build the franchise around. Best option of the top-3 QB’s.
New York Giants – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Best all around talent in the draft. In a different era Barkley would be the sure #1 pick.
New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
He has the tools and the winning mentality, but can he stand the glare of the bright lights of Broadway?
Cleveland Browns – Bradley Chubb DE, North Carolina State
Browns roll the dice at #1 and still get Chubb to pair with Myles Garrett up front and suddenly Cleveland has true building blocks.
Denver Broncos - Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
John Elway calls the QB audible after seeing a bit of himself in Rosen. He will be sadly mistaken.
Indianapolis Colts – Quenton Nelson, Guard, Notre Dame
If Andrew Luck ever comes back healthy, Indy has to do a better job of protecting him. Nelson checks all the boxes.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Derwin James, Safety, Florida State
You can’t win in the NFC South without a strong defensive backfield. James can make the plays, but must stay grounded staying in Florida.
Chicago Bears - Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
The Bears add to their 10th ranked defense with the best linebacker in the draft class.
San Francisco 49ers – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
The 49ers address big need at linebacker to inprove their 24thranked defense.
Oakland Raiders - Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Jon Gruden knows the Raiders defensive backfield is suspect after giving up an average of 241 yds per game last season.
Miami Dolphins - Vita Vea, Washington, DT
How do you replace Ndamukong Suh? You get the younger version. Incredibly strong with the ability to create havoc up front
Buffalo Bills - Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
The Bills get a franchise QB…uh…the Bills get a star in the making…uh…the Bills get another project.
Washington Redskins - Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Washington gave up over 24 points per game last year (tie for 27th). They need help on D. Their days of winning shootouts are over.
Green Bay Packers - Denzel Ward, CB Ohio State
The Pack has lost 3 DB’s to trades or free agency, address this pressing need is lock.
Arizona Cardinals - Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The Cardinals probably need an offensive lineman more, but they will role the dice on the dynamic Jackson who will will have to rely on his legs a lot to survive his rookie season
Baltimore Ravens - Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Drafting for our O-line is never sexy, but neither are the Ravens. They win when they play ugly and run the ball. McGlinchey is the best run blocker available.
Los Angeles Chargers - Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise St.
The Chargers couldn’t stop the run at all last year. This HUGE linebacker should help change that.
Seattle Seahawks - Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas – San Antonio
Remember it’s the No-Trade Mock Draft…If Seattle stays here Davenport looks to be just what they need up front with the departures of Bennett, Richardson and most likely Avril.
Dallas Cowboys - Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Jerry Jones likes to go big and with a lot of flash. Everybody please welcome the Dez Bryant replacement to Big D.
Detroit Lions - Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
The Lions defense ranked 27thin total passing yds. Alexander isn’t a shut down corner, but a real steal at 20
Cincinnati Bengals - Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas
Cincy was all kinds of ugly up front in 2017. Yet another rebuild under Marvin Lewis begins up front.
Indianapolis Colts - Isaiah Wynn, OT, Georgia
Indy wastes little time adding another pass blocker to their O-line. Must protect Luck!
New England Patriots - Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
The Pats O-line looked old last season. Have they found their replacement for Nate Solder?
Carolina Panthers - D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
Raw but very athletic and fast, Carolina gets a much needed WR that can stretch the field.
Tennessee Titans - Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
The Titans have a need at edge rusher and linebacker. Is it too much to expect Evans to fill both roles?
Atlanta Falcons - Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
Time for coach Dan Quinn to address a defense that only registered 24 sacks last season. Bryan has great size and athleticism despite only starting 1 year at Florida.
New Orleans Saints - Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
The Saints wanted Jimmy Graham back, but will now opt for another tall former basketball playing TE in Gesicki who hauled in 14 TD’s the past two years at Penn St.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Justin Reid, Safety, Stanford
Safety is a glaring need as Pittsburgh said goodbye to Mike Mitchell and Robert Golden in the offseason. Reid pairs up nicely with free agent pickup Morgan Burnett.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Who needs Alan Hurns? Not the Jags after they get a steal in the tall deep threat out of SMU. Not the most know WR in the draft, but may the most impactful.
Minnesota Vikings - Will Hernandez, Guard, UTEP
If you’re going to spend 84-million fully guaranteed dollars on Kirk Cousins, you better protect him. Hernandez has some nasty to him that Viking fans will like.
New England Patriots – Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma St.
The Pats need a QB, In the No Trade Draft, they take a flyer on Rudolph. He’s no Garoppolo, but then again neither was Garoppolo until Belichick got a hold of him.
Philadelphia Eagles - Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
The final pick is my favorite. Guice is a ready to go NFL running back who fits in nicely with the defending champs as they try to replace LeGarrette Blount.